ACERE2020, where entrepreneurship researchers from six continents met in Adelaide in early February, is history, but in my role as the chair of the ACERE academic committee, I would like to offer some remarks and reflections on ACERE2020 (Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research Exchange; http://acereconference.com/). I can also announce that ACERE2021 will take place at Bond University on the Gold Coast.
First same background for those that are not so familiar with ACERE: The ACERE conference, which basically started in 2004, is an annual entrepreneurship research conference that combines highest academic standards (e.g., peer-reviewed paper selection process, top international keynote speakers, standard paper presentations) with a collegial, developmental approach to discussing and working on research papers and projects. One popular stream within ACERE are, for example, the paper development sessions where authors get the opportunity to work directly with their reviewers (often internationally leading scholars) for 45 minutes on their individual paper to develop it further. Just a wonderful example of how productive the conference can be for all participants involved. I know that many of these sessions also generated new research topics and projects. We hope the authors will mention ACERE in the acknowledgements section of the future papers 😉.
But back to ACERE02020: First of all, I have to mention the great venue, Adelaide and its cultural and entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the co-organiser this year, University of South Australia and its modern inner-city campus and facilities. From what I heard from participants, it was a truly successful and productive conference – I heard positive feedback from both younger scholars (e.g. PhD students) and senior scholars. Everything went smoothly, also our social events, including the gala dinner in the Adelaide Zoo where we learnt about the life of the two giant pandas there, were highlights.
ACERE2020 comprised of the Doctoral Consortium, the Entrepreneurship Educators Forum, Paper Development Sessions, Paper Presentation Session, Keynotes by Dean Shepherd, Sara Carter, David Audretsch, a panel discussion with all keynote speakers plus Per Davidsson, and two thematic workshops this year – one on entrepreneurship metrics and data (which brought together experts from research, government, VC, and foundations), and one on entrepreneurial ecosystems (which provided scholars with the opportunity to share their ideas relating to how the concept of place links to themes within entrepreneurship research and how it influences entrepreneurial practice). We also did some fundraising for the bushfire victims in Australia – thanks again to all donators!
While all of the conference events where successful, and I thank everybody involved, I must say that the Educators Forum gained particularly considerable momentum this year. There were more than 70 participants, with a quite diverse background (e.g., university lecturers and professors, high school teachers, and entrepreneurs) and the diverse sessions and presentations mirrored the increased interest in entrepreneurship education and latest trends but also challenges in this field. We are looking forward to the next Educators Forum at ACERE2021.
The ACERE2020 paper awards had 5 categories this year (we have the standard quantitative vs. qualitative categories like each year and then special topics, this year. Let me say a final thanks to the award sponsors and congratulations to the 2020 winners:
- Best Quantitative Paper Award – Sponsored by QUT Business School and University of South Australia – How Does An Entrepreneur ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’? A Multi-Wave Diary Study Of Venture Goal Setback And Subsequent Venture Effort – Marilyn Uy, Siran Zhan, Stephen Zhang, Jizhen Li
- Best Qualitative Paper Award – Sponsored by Swinburne University – Mapping Entrepreneurship Support Provision In Entrepreneurial Ecosystems – Michaela Hruskova, Colin Mason
- Best Conceptual Paper Award – Sponsored by University of Adelaide – The Actualization Approach: Moving The Entrepreneurship Field Forward – Abdul Khan, Susan Freeman, Tamer Cavusgil, Pervez Ghauri
- Best Paper Award in Entrepreneurship and Motivation and Decision-Making – Sponsored by Flinders University – How Does An Entrepreneur ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’? A Multi-Wave Diary Study Of Venture Goal Setback And Subsequent Venture Effort – Marilyn Uy, Siran Zhan, Stephen Zhang, Jizhen Li
- Best Paper Award in Entrepreneurship and Context – Sponsored by La Trobe University – Membership Vs. Embeddedness: How Involvement In Professional Associations While Overseas Influence Entrepreneurial Intention Of Returnees – Haiyan Li, Salih Zeki Ozdemir
Finally, let me say something about our keynote speakers, Dean Shepherd, Sara Carter, and David Audretsch. In their keynotes, Dean Shepherd spoke about his own academic journey and his passionate interest in adversity and resilience that goes back to his father’s family business, Sara Carter discussed the influence of household dynamics on entrepreneurship and her impressive research in this field, and David Audretsch finally spoke about the (potential) decline of entrepreneurship and democracy and what this means for society and the economy. Moreover, it was really impressive to see them working and interacting with other conference attendees in such a productive, respectful, and passionate way – I think this is really special and deserves utmost respect. They also volunteered to join the Doctoral Consortium and work with young entrepreneurship scholars on their PhD projects. This year, Melissa Cardon joined us as well for the Doctorial Consortium as a speaker — a special thanks to Melissa Cardon for her contributions.
So far so good – so what’s next? So ACERE2021 will take us to the beautiful and stunning Gold Coast – an agglomeration that is the sixth-largest city in Australia and a major tourist destination with its sunny subtropical climate and some of the most impressive beaches in Australia. Next year’s conference will be co-hosted by Bond University, Australia’s first private not-for-profit university with great facilities and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. I am sure ACERE2021 at Bond University will be another great conference with inspiring and productive session and events, and of course great people that will join us from so many corners of the world.
Best wishes – Martin Obschonka, Director Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research